Scrolling Headlines:

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Shorthanded, UMass men’s basketball shocks Dayton with 62-60 win -

January 7, 2018

Northampton City Council elects Ryan O’Donnell as new council president -

January 7, 2018

UMass power play stays hot but Minutemen lose 8-3 to UMass Lowell -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls to UMass Lowell in 8-3 blowout -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls short against Yale in 5-3 loss Friday -

January 5, 2018

Otis Livingston II, George Mason drop UMass men’s basketball 80-72 -

January 3, 2018

UMass prepare for third nationally ranked opponent

Jeff Bernstein

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

It doesn’t appear to be getting any easier for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team.

After suffering its fourth straight loss Wednesday night to St. Bonaventure, 70-69, at the Mullins Center, the Minutemen face another nationally ranked team Saturday at 4 p.m., when they travel to No. 25 Baylor in their final non-conference game of the season.

“It’s a total building process, to have so many young guys, we just have to stay focused on the task at hand which is to build this program and to just get better everyday,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said regarding the game. “In the process of doing that, you would like to add some W’s and win some close games, because we’ve been in a bunch of them, and I’m anticipating many, many more tough games, and ones that will come down to the wire, and as we mature, we will pull them out at the end.”

Freshman guard Freddie Riley missed a 3-point attempt that would’ve won the game for UMass (7-11, 1-4 Atlantic 10), who came back from a 10-point deficit with four minutes to go in the second half. Senior guard Ricky Harris sprinted the ball up the court, drove and then dished to Riley on the right wing, but the ball hit the rim and fell short.

“He’s fine, I mean, shooters, I don’t think those things bother them too much,” Kellogg said. “I know he’s looking forward to the next time he’s put in that situation, and I’m confident that the next time, he will knock it down.”

Riley leads the team in 3-point field goals made (39), good for a 2.8 made average, while posting a .375 3-point percentage.

UMass has faced a tough schedule, including No. 6 Michigan State and No. 16 Temple earlier this season. The Minutemen fell to the Spartans back on Nov. 28, 106-68, in the Legends Classic Championship, while dropping their third straight conference contest against the Owls last Saturday, 76-64.

“You know this gets us on national television, but it’s probably not a great time to be playing a team with how they’re playing and where they are rated,” Kellogg said of the Temple game. “But at the same token, it gives our guys one more test to see where they are against I think one of the top-15 teams in the country.”

The Bears (14-3, 2-2 Big 12) are coming off a near upset at No. 3 Kansas Wednesday night, losing 81-75. Junior guard LaceDarius Dunn had 27 points in the effort, while Tweety Carter added 17.

“They have a ton of height, and they play a ton of juniors and seniors and guys that were highly rated out of high school,” Kellogg said, noting that he recruited a number of players to come to Memphis, where he was an assistant prior to UMass.

Baylor starts Josh Lomers (7-feet), Ekpe Udoh (6-10) and Anthony Jones (6-10) in its backcourt, and has a pair of quick guards in Dunn and Carter.

The Bears have had success against A-10 opponents so far this season, beating Xavier 69-64 behind 27 points from Carter.

If the Minutemen are given the opportunity to take open 3-pointers, they must convert them, as the Bears allow an average of 7.6 three-pointers per game.

“I think going 4-for-23 with an outside shooting team is not conducive to winning basketball, so we have to get in the gym, and shoot more,” Kellogg said.

The game will be air on ESPNU. It will be UMass’ 100th all-time game against a ranked opponent. The Minutemen have gone 30-69 all-time against Associated Press Top 25 teams.

David Brinch can be reached at dbrinch@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment